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footballportugal

Quotes - 2002

footballportugal

2003 / 2001 / 2000

31/12/02

Liga president Valentim Loureiro calls for action over the 'dirty money' scandal: "[If nothing is done] European football will be forced to conclude that Portugal ... is a common banana republic."

29/12/02

Sporting president Dias da Cunha stirs the 'dirty money' scandal currently brewing: "There's a lot of money passed under the table in football, there's a lot of creative accounting and there's a lot of dirty money."

28/12/02

Home Secretary Nuno Magalhães seeks to reassure us that there will be effective security at EURO 2004: " ... there isn't going to be any civil war."

26/12/02

Asked about a possible transfer out of the Luz, perhaps Benfica's star winger Simão Sabrosa doth protest too much ...: "I have no offers, and at this moment I have no intention of leaving Benfica. I haven't received any proposals and even if any come in, I'm not leaving"

24/12/02

Those hoping that referee José Pratas would reveal, at the moment of retiring, the reason for the occasional apparently partial performance were disappointed: "I'll continue, as I've always done, to support my team, which is, and will always be ... the referees."

11/12/02

Bobby Robson on Benfica's alleged offer to take over from Jesulado Ferreira as the club's coach: "They gave me an hour to make a decision. I only needed a minute to refuse their offer."

10/12/02

Benfica defender Argel welcomes the arrival of coach José Camacho: "Before, we only had a horse. Now we've got a horse and a jockey."

09/12/02

Benfica's midfielder Petit, sent-off with Quaresma in just another friendly Sporting-Benfica derby: "Ricardo Quaresma came in hard and when I protested, he head-butted me."

08/12/02

Beira-Mar's Ricardo Sousa comes over all bitter after his team go down 2-3 to a late penalty at Belenenses: "I have a family to support, and the referee picked my pocket in the last minute of the match."

07/12/02

Challenged about the size of National Coach Felipe Scolari's salary, FPF president Gilberto Madaíl gets a little defensive: "It isn't normal for us to reveal the salaries of our coaches and staff, just as it isn't normal to know this about companies."

06/12/02

Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni turns on the gamesmanship ahead of the Sporting v Benfica clássico at the weekend: "Benfica are the best.team technically in Portugal, and they have a squad full of stars."

05/12/02

Press release from Benfica, referring to perceived prejudice in terms of refereeing decisions: "The club is fed up and can no longer tolerate hearing that to err is human since to err so much is clearly inhuman."

04/12/02

Sporting's Ricardo Sá Pinto after a punch up in training with his team-mate Rui Jorge: "Rui is like a brother to me."

03/12/02

Sporting winger Ricardo Quaresma, apparently underwhelmed by the reported interest of the Big Boys in his services: "Manchester United? Juventus? ... What I want at this moment is to play for my club, continue to progress and ... one day we'll see."

21/11/02

Boavista president João Loureiro adjusts the club's ambitions downwards: "No one heard me say at the beginning of the season that we were candidates for the title ..."

20/11/02

Sports Minister José Luís Arnaut is optimistic that EURO 2004 will leave an awful lot of people with a positive impression of Portugal: "Ten billion people are going to see our organisational ability."

19/11/02

Varzim president Luís Oliveira, upset that Benfica are blaming the referee for the 2-1 defeat by his club: "Benfica are bad losers."

18/11/02

Marítimo president Carlos Pereira after João Pinto's dive had central defender Mitchell van der Gaag sent off on Friday. The expulsion turned the game Sporting's way: "If need be, I'll make a collection to help João Pinto build a swimming pool at his house."

17/11/02

Felipe Scolari gets ever nearer to the Selecção: "On a scale of 0-10, the chances of us reaching an agreement are 8."

16/11/02

Front page headline in A Bola. Benfica are in a a press blackout, but several players went into the studios Thursday to record a song for a CD by one of the club's claques. "They don't talk ... but they do sing."

15/11/02

The Santa Clara board get behind their coach ... for now. The team are bottom of the SuperLiga: "At this moment, Manuel Fernandes has the full support of the board."

14/11/02

It's all gloom in the Segunda, according to Chaves president Castanheira Gonçalves: "It's the biggest crisis ever. If urgent measures are not taken, it will be the end."

13/11/02

Boavista president João Loureiro ahead of the Second Round second-leg UEFA Cup tie at Anorthosis Famagusta of Cyprus. (The club has had a poor start to the season): "I believe that this game is going to be a turning point for us."

12/11/02

Belenenses coach Marinho Peres after his side went down 1-3 at Gil Vicente: "I don't underststand why they don't give penalties in favour of Belenenses, but whatever ... A hug for everyone."

11/11/02

Paços de Ferreira coach José Mota after his side shipped seven at Benfica: "Today we were the Santa Casa da Misericórdia." (The Santa Casa is a national charitable institution)

08/11/02

Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni, asked if Sporting can win the title again given the five-point distance between them and FC Porto: "Next question please ..."

07/11/02

President of Brazilian side Vasco da Gama, Eurico Miranda, asked for his opinion about Luiz Felipe Scolari as possible coach of the Portuguese national team: "He earns too much, he's not Portuguese and he's stroppy."

06/11/02

Former Sporting and FC Porto coach Octávio Machado gets ironic over the FPF's opinion that a foreign coach is the best option for the national side: "I think we need to hire foreign administrators for the Portuguese game."

05/11/02

Luís Figo denies that he was given cloves of garlic as a performance- enhancer during the World Cup: "I don't believe that garlic helps you to play well and win games."

04/11/02

Académica president Campos Coroa makes the defence for his club against suspicion of money-laundering, rife throughout Portuguese football: "We don't launder money here at Académica because ... well ... there isn't any."

03/11/02

Gil Vicente coach Vítor Oliveira, prophetic ahead of his team's 3-0 win at Alvalade: "To win any points (against Sporting), we have go to the limits of committment and concentration and hope that Sporting have a bad day."

02/11/02

President of the Liga , Valentim Loureiro, responding to charges that Portuguese football is rife with corruption: "The fact that there are corrupt people in football does not mean that the whole of football is corrupt, ditto other areas."

01/11/02

Mário Jardel's wife Karen, ostensibly the reason for her husband's recent depression and absence from the game, at her 31st birthday party: "I'm very happy to be here at Jardel's side. Everything's back to normal."

31/10/02

FC Porto president Pinto da Costa calls for clarity over the clubs' tax situation: "If there are nine clubs behind with their taxes, the tax authorities should say which ... if not, someone could say that three of you journalists are pickpockets, and I'd be suspicious of all of you.".

30/10/02

Boavista ´keeper Ricardo explains what happened between him and Sporting's Chilean defender Contreras in the tunnel at half-time of last weekend's Boavista v Sporting. Contreras had just done a fine impression of a sack of spuds to win a penalty for Sporting: "All I said to him was to go and take dives in his own country."

28/10/02

President of the Liga , Valentim Loureiro: "Portuguese football continues to be the scapegoat for everything bad that happens in the country."

27/10/02

Boavista president João Loureiro after Boavista go down to Sporting, allegedly with help from the referee: "Portuguese football is - as the president of Sporting says and I agree - a great big lie."

26/10/02

Columnist Miguel Sousa Tavares in A Bola, after the FC Porto v Benfica 'clássico' that had 35 minutes actual play and 73 (!!) fouls: "This has been a depressing week for those who like football, and for those who think that the essential thing about football is that it should be a spectacle worth watching."

25/10/02

Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco ahead of the vital game with Sporting: "If necessary, we'll go back to the way we used to play, committing any foul that's necessary."

24/10/02

União de Leiria captain João Manuel gets diplomatic ahead of the game with FC Porto and their star Brazilian midfielder: "Deco's an artist at diving."

23/10/02

Prime Minister Durão Barroso, shadow PM at the time of the decision to stage EURO 2004 in Portugal: "If I had been Prime-Minister, there would never have been a EURO 2004 in Portugal."

22/10/02

Vitória de Guimarães coach Augusto Inácio after his team go second in the SuperLiga: "How far can we go in the SuperLiga? We're humble - we'll take each game as it comes."

19/10/02

Former FPF vice-president António Boronha commenting on negotiations to cut a tax deal for national team players: "The players of the Selecção cannot be regarded as the elephant at the zoo whose trunk you put a coin in to ring a bell."

18/10/02

Boavista president João Loureiro backtracks after severing ties with local rivals FCP in the wake of the painting by FCP vandals of the black Boavista panther blue prior to the Boavista v FC Porto derby in September: "Relations with FC Porto are not cut ... merely suspended."

17/10/02

Luís Figo, in protest at a perceived lack of coordination behind the scenes of the national team: "I have my prestige, and if coming to the national team means losing it, I'd prefer not to come."

16/10/02

Referee José Carvalho didn't see Vitória de Guimarães coach Augusto Inácio take his players off for nine minutes in protest at the referee's performance in a friendly with São João de Ver: "What? Did something happen? I didn't see anything."

15/10/02

Benfica's new president Luís Filipe Vieira traces Benfica's medium-term objectives: "We believe it's possible to reach the total of half a million paid-up members. That's our objective."

14/10/02

FPF president Gilberto Madaíl on being asked what is wrong with Portuguese football: "It's all down to a fragile financial structure and a lot of people talking at the same time."

13/10/02

Luis Figo on the delay in appointing a permanent national coach: "This situation is something that should have been sorted out ages ago - we're wasting time."

11/10/02

Mário Jardel's estranged wife Karen in supportive mood: "I'm absolutely certain that Jardel will be the top scorer in Europe again."

10/10/02

Boavista Vice-President Tavares Rijo: "As long as we don't have an unexpected earthquake, the Estádio do Bessa will be inaugurated on August 1st, 2003."

09/10/02

Benfica's Simão Sabrosa calls for unity following a couple of hiccups in the club's SuperLiga campaign: "All for one and one for all - that's the motto of our club."

08/10/02

FC Porto coach José Mourinho gets logical after the 1-1 draw at Beira Mar: "What could we have done to win? Scored more goals than Beira-Mar."

07/10/02

Vitória de Guimarães coach Augusto Ignácio after his side go equal top following a 5-0 roasting of Santa Clara: "The buzz around the team is fantastic, but don't ask for the Moon and the Earth at the same time. Take it easy!"

06/10/02

Sporting Braga coach Fernando Castro after the 2-3 defeat at Belenenses: "Playing with two, three or 18 central defenders would have been the same - we defended really badly."

05/10/02

National Team Coach Agostinho Oliveira on the need for hard work in the National Team: "Next to the player that wears a dinner suit to go to the casino there has to be one that wears overalls."

04/10/02

Leixões president José Manuel Teixeira ahead of the second leg of the team's tie against PAOK - Leixões eventually lost on aggregate: "The players have to die on the pitch!"

03/10/02

Famous last words (?) of União de Leiria captain Bilro in support of coach Manuel Cajuda. UdL have had an horrific start to the season: "The team has been, and will continue to be, with the coach."

02/10/02

Maria José Morgado, former Assistant Director of the Judicial Police, to national daily O Público: "Football is a world of money-laundering."

01/10/02

Mário Jardel, questioned about his fitness on his return to Sporting, reduces the striker's role to its bare essentials: "I don't have to run much - what I have to do is score goals."

30/09/02

Paços de Ferreira's Renato Queiros, scorer of his side's second goal in the 3-1 win over Boavista. Two months ago, he was playing in the Segunda B. "I'm not going to be able to get to sleep tonight."

29/09/02

Sporting's Mário Jardel on his return to the Sporting fold: "Jardel is a human being, made of flesh and blood like any other. The best thing for me is to train again."

28/09/02

After the team's patchy start to the season, Man Utd's David Beckham diverts criticism away from Portuguese coach Carlos Queiróz: "When new coaches arrive at clubs like Manchester United, they have to win the respect of the players; Carlos Queirós already has that respect."

27/09/02

Benfica coach Jesualdo Ferreira on FCP coach José Mourinho, who has criticised the 'help' Benfica have been getting from referees: "It's strange, but the coach of FC Porto talks more about my team than he does about his."

26/09/02

Sporting forward Luís Filipe opens up a door for Jardel to return: "Jardel did nobody any harm, and nobody in the group did him any harm, so there are no anti-bodies with respect to him."

25/09/02

Headline in A Bola. Sporting's ´keeper Nélson was the only one in the side given any merit in the 0-0 home draw with Varzim: " 'Admiral' Nélson saved from the shipwreck."

24/09/02

Vitória de Guimarães president Pimenta Machado after
his side lost 0-2 to FC Porto:
"It's impossbile for Guimarães to be amongst the leaders. If there were seriousness and truth we'd be able to try."

23/09/02

Marítimo coach Nelo Vingada after his side went down 0-5 at home to Vitória de Setúbal: "The performance was too bad to be true!"

22/09/02

União de Leiria coach Manuel Cajuda, not happy with the referee of Benfica 3-1 UDL. Viseu is referee Isidoro Rodrigues' home town: "We made one mistake - we didn't read the Viseu version of the FIFA rules."

21/09/02

Luís Figo on football to Spanish sports paper Marca: "The world of football is very false ... When I hang up my boots, I'm going to enjoy my family, give it the time I can't give it now. And, if I can, get away from football, do something that has nothing to do with football."

19/09/02

Carlos Silva, the new man in charge of Portugal's national teams, on whether stand-in national coach Agostinho Oliveira will continue: "Sometimes competence is not enough."

18/09/02

Gilberto Madaíl, president of the Federação Portuguesa de Futebol, ahead of his inevitably triumphant march to renewal of power at the FPF: "The ship (the FPF/ Selecção after Korea) got holed, and the captain was the only one who stayed on board ... after a few rats left the ship, I have to put the national team back on course ... which has already happened with the game against England ... Of course I'd like to have Eriksson in charge of the national team, but I can't."

Artur Jorge on his withdrawal from the race for the presidency of the FPF: "We weren't defeated. But the Portuguese who like football were."

Rui Alves, president of Marítimo's local rivals Nacional: "Marítimo's president is a thief and the coach is a clown."

15/09/02

Moreirense coach Manuel Machado, fuming after his side was marginally beaten by Benfica (2-3) in a game with some controversial refereeing decisions: "This was a disgrace! This way football is never going to get straightened out. But I have to be politically correct, therefore ... everything was fine, great, marvellous, fantastic ... Benfica won and remain at the top ... I have other things to say, more interesting things, but I don't have enough money to pay the fines. I'm the coach of Moreirense. If I was the coach of Benfica, then maybe I would have ..."

12/09/02

Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco, asked about a possible crisis at the club after a poor start to the season: "What crisis!?"

29/08/02

Boavista coach Jaime Pacheco finds sinister contributions (from the referees) to the Portuguese clubs' failure to qualify for the Champions League: ""I'm not trying to make excuses, but I think that from what we've seen in these ties involving Portuguese teams, Portuguese football is suffering the consequences of what happened [in disciplinary terms] at EURO 2000 and the World Cup."

28/07/02

Benfica's Director of Communication, João Malheiro, commenting on Sunday's torrid FC Porto v Belenenses: "The Antas Stadium continues to harbour aggression, lies, pressure ... in short acts that aren't, or shouldn't be, part of Portuguese football. These methods belong to someone who has stood still in time."

27/08/02

Boavista president João Loureiro responds, or doesn't, to some gamesmanship by FC Porto coach José Mourinho ahead of the Boavista v FC Porto derby of 02/09: "I do not respond to coaches. At the very most, I would respond to whoever tells these coaches [read FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa] to say what they say, but I don't even do that because I hold them in the utmost contempt. They are people, as far as I'm concerned, who have absolutely no morals and who have done football and sport too much harm already for me to give them any importance."

23/08/02

A Bola 's comic strip Barba e Cabelo ('Beard and Hair') on the first day of the season.
(Customer): Football's back! The first game of the championship starts at 9 o'clock!
(Barber): We're just a few hours away from blaming the first referee of the season ...

22/08/02

Pinto da Costa, sarcastic as usual, commenting on the possibility of TV pundit Pôncio Monteiro being a candidate for the presidency of the Portuguese Football Federation: "He will never be president of the FPF: he's much too serious and he's an FC Porto fan."

21/08/02

FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa aims a sharp one at Liga president Valentim Loureiro for not consulting anyone on the sponsorship contract with national oil company Galp for this year's Primeira championship: "It makes no difference to me because I fill up at BP. A few days ago I even brought home a set of scales I got from their points card."

17/09/02

Liga president 'Major' Valentim Loureiro signposts a foolproof way of avoiding paying taxes: "All I know is that for three or four years, Benfica didn't pay any taxes because the then Government and the tax authorities didn't demand it."

Benifica's Director of Football Luís Filipe Vieira is not paranoid, not at all, oh no: "There's a strategy to destroy Benfica, but they're not going to manage it!" (TVI)

16/08/02

FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa denies, in his own inimitable style, that striker Pena is on his way to Brazilian club Flamengo: "It seems that the information is on the Flamengo website, but it isn't on FC Porto's site."

13/08/02

Sporting's new signing from AC Milan, striker Vitaly Kutusov, returns to Lisbon from a flying trip back to Milan: "I went to get some of my belongings, especially my boots."

11/08/02

Benfica coach Jesualdo Ferreira, after his side go down 0-2 to Celta, grabs the wrong end of the stick re Benfiquista expectations: "I think we had a good game and responded well."

10/08/02

Benfica vice-president Tinoco Faria volleys back over the net at FC Porto president Pinto da Costa: "He puts one in mind of an aged Tin Tin, bald and unfunny."

09/08/02

Luís Figo comes over all magnanimous, almost two months after the World Cup finished: "If I was named as one of the people who were mainly at fault for the Selecção's bad campaign, I'd have no problem in giving up my place in the team to someone who could do better. I think that national interests are above the personal interests of each player."

Current president Gilberto Madaíl scoffs at the apparent support for rival Pôncio Monteiro in the upcoming elections for Federation president: "This support is a mystery. It's like the mystery of faith. We catholics believe that there are mysteries that are not there to be understood but to be accepted."

08/08/02

Benfica's vice-president Tinoco Faria joins in the free-for-all surrounding Benfica's financial situation, taking a poke at FC Porto president Pinto da Costa: "Some people, for example, had in the accounts departments of their clubs invoices from referees paid by those clubs, and now they're talking about 'unfair competition'."

07/08/02

FC Porto president Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa takes a customary pre-season swipe at Benfica, still with the controversy in the air of the transfer of Nuno Gomes to the Luz: "Benfica didn't pay its tax for the years 1998 and 1999. The Govenrment and the tax man know this but we, the people, can't do anything about it ... When we were late paying, even the referee's toilet was confiscated."

06/08/02

Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni's famous last words on the absence of his psychologically perturbed striker: "I'm sure that Mário Jardel is going to return."

Sporting president Dias da Cunha reacts to cash-strapped Benfica's signing of Nuno Gomes: "I have no interest whatsoever in other clubs, unless certain behaviour leads to unfair competition, and that's intolerable."

Liga president Valentim Loureiro puts in his two penn'orth on the Nuno Gomes question: "I think it's time directors stopped trying to be close-season champions because afterwards they can't pay the wages."

02/08/02

Boavista president João Loureiro promises the very probably impossible: "From now on I'm going to avoid getting involved in any controversy. We have other worries, namely the economic problems affecting the country."

01/08/02

Mário Jardel fishes for sympathy from the Portuguese in Spanish sports paper Marca: "I want out of here. I can't stand Portugal any more."

28/07/02

Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni reacting to Mario Jardel's taking time off for psychological problems folloowing his break-up with his wife: "Jardel is not ill - if he's ill, even more reason why he should be with us. We haven't changed, and I don't hink he can have changed. The best thing would be for him to train and play with us. His place is here with us."

27/07/02

Nothing like counting your chickens ... Boavista still have to get by (admittedly accessible) Hibernians of Malta in the second preliminary round of the Champions League before they can meet Auxerre in the third preliminary, but that doesn't stop director Paulo Gonçalves getting ahead of himself: "We have the advantage of playing in front of thousands of Portuguese emigrants who live in France, and that will be important for the support of the team."

26/07/02

Benfica's Brazilian defender Argel gets excited about the forthcoming derby game with Sporting: "Benfica have just one thought: training is play and playing is war."

25/07/02

Federação Portuguesa de Futebol president Gilberto Madaíl responds to calls for his resignation from the Parliamentary Commission currently investigating, among other things, Portugal's poor showing in the World Cup: "I'm in a position to be able to run again (for president) because I personally didn't commit any errors (at the World Cup)."

15/07/02

Fernando Barata, president of the Algarve club Imortal, of the Segunda B (third division), reflecting on the close-season clear-out to keep the club afloat financially and give the squad more edge: "We had the courage to keep the kit man and not much else."

13/07/02

Boavista president João Loureiro commenting on the possibility that Benfica could sign midfielder Petit, even though it's common knowledge that Benfica are in dire financial straits: "When there's imagination, there are various possible ways to reach an understanding."

11/07/02

A excerpt from Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni's forthcoming book 'The Notebook', based on the scribblings in his ... notebook: "First training in Rio Maior. I walk out on the pitch to start the session and find an unbelievable situation. What with trainers, doctors, kit-men and directors, there were 17 people on the pitch who weren't players. A catastrophe!"

09/07/02

Brazilian striker Pena, not wanted by FC Porto: "You're going to hear a lot, but a lot, about Pena ..."

08/07/02 (2)

Benfica president Manuel Vilarinho, setting out the club's objectives: "What concerns me most is the financial stability of the club, and then we'll be champions many times. It could be this year. Why not."

Ricardo Rocha, Benfica's new centre back, signed from Sporting Braga: "It's extraordinary being at Benfica."

07/07/02

Abel Xavier, commenting on the story that the Portuguese players wanted their prize-money at the World cup to be tax-free: "Any player would pay to play in the national team. That story of the taxes is nonsense."

05/07/02

Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni on the reasons for João Pinto's attitude in the game against South Korea : "He was suffering from mental and physical fatigue."

02/07/02

International midfielder Paulo Sousa hangs up his boots and alludes to the criticism of his inclusion in the squad for Korea: "[I'm hurt] by the lack of respect and consideration for my past and the dignity that any human being has the right to expect."

28/06/02

Sporting coach Laszlo Bölöni, asked what he was going to do first as he arrived back in Lisbon after holidays: "I'm going to pick up my car, buy some bread, feed the pigeons and then have a sleep."

26/06/02

President of the FPF, Gilberto Madaíl, admitting that António Oliveira had been sent a fax suggesting the rescission of his contract: "This is the only decision we could take, and it's not because of pressure from anyone. The national team coach is António Oliveira, he was a great Portuguese player who played in several clubs, he was a great Portugues coach and he was the coach that took Portugal to EURO '96 and the World Cup 2002, so he is not a person we want to push off the balcony. But the decision is because there are not now the conditions for AO to continue as coach. We will propose an amicable rescission of the contract with regard to the two remaining years as the conditions that are necessary for the fulfillment of the contract no longer appear to exist." (infordesporto)

22/06/02

António Oliveira, national team coach, in a press conference Friday: "My job has always been on the line, and it is now, too. One minute after signing for the Federation my job was on the line, because that's the way I am ... I'm not going to offer my resignation because that would be an act of cowardice ... I signed a four-year contract with objectives, like taking the team to the World cup. So I'm fulfilling, as far as possible, what was programmed."

António Boronha, ex-Vice-President of the FPF, the day after the FPF emergency meeting to look into the national team's failure in Korea. He was responding to FPF President Gilberto Madaíl's accusation that Boronha's report on the campaign was "full of falsehoods": "This was an attempt at inconsequential whitewashing. What interests the millions of fans who felt frustrated is a categorical response about whether this coach (António Oliveira) is any good or not. What I said in the report is that he isn't."

21/06/02

António Boronha, vice-president of the Football Federation, conmfirming his resignation from the job: "What went wrong with the World Cup? Essentially, the homework wasn't done ... I'm not a hypocrite. I don't think António Oliveira is in any position to continue as national team coach."

19/06/02

President of Sporting SAD (the commercial side of the club) Miguel Ribeiro Teles, expressing the club's support for João Pinto: "I have no reason not to believe JP's word. The player admits openly that he acted badly and exagerrated in his protests. At that moment he was pushed and that's where the contact with the referee came from. But he denies any physical aggression."

Dias de Cunha, president of Sporting Club: "The short conversation I had with JP served to reinforce my conviction that he is completely innocent in terms of physical aggression ... It is not going to be possible to prove that there was any physical agression on the part of JP."

A press release from the Portuguese Players Union: "We ask everybody involved in football, in particular the press, to have the necessary serenity to wait for the process to unfold, avoiding a public trial of the player, which would have repercussions on his personal and family life ... We offer the player access to our legal services to guarantee a fair defence and a balanced decision ... We have to remember the unique contriburion of JP to the national team."

Portuguese international referee Vítor Pereira: "I'm sad at the situation ... it puts the good name of the country at risk ... This is the first time ever in the history of the World Cup that a player has assaulted a referee ... People cannot put their heads in the sand and pretend that nothing has happened ... Those responsible for sport in Portugal have to say something because this is a national question. It's a question of sporting culture."

(all quotes translated from infordesporto)

18/06/02

APAF, the Portuguese Referees Association, reacting to the actions of João Pinto in the Korea match and the subsequent passivity of the competent Portuguese bodies: "There can be no sort of solidarity with someone who has this kind of attitude, nor any consideration for someone who calls into question the good name of Portuguese football." (infordesporto)

President of the Liga, Valentim Loureiro, who on Sunday appeared on TV to defend his friend João Pinto, talking about the photo that appeared in 'The Japan Times' apparently showing the player punching the referee in the Korea match: "I don't see any act of aggression. I do see JP's right arm against the referee, and I agree that the player got near the referee when he was protesting, but I still believe that the player did not punch him." ( A Bola On-line)

Guus Hiddink, responding to claims that Luís Figo tried to arrange a draw with Korea: "I know Figo well, I have great admiration for his professionalism and for his character, he's a great player and a great man. I'm sure he would be incapable of that." (A Bola On-line)

16/06/02

Coach António Oliveira: "We're all very sad. This wasn't in our plans. We had legitimate ambitions to get through this first phase ... I have to congratulate South Korea ... I also want to say a word about the players, who showed extraordinary stoicism. Nobody should feel disgraced because we gave everything, but through bad luck we didn't get where we wanted to go ... [about the refereeing] It was an unequal struggle for more than 60 minutes. I'd like to say more things ... Nobody would have said that France or argentina would have been knocked out, or that Portugal wouldn't get through ... I'd like to wish South Korea good luck. I think that business was safeguarded, but I don't want to add anything more about this game ... This experience was very rich. We're leaving obviously very disappointed for not achieving our objectives ... Let's think that tomorrow is a new day and that there are worse things than losing and not getting through to the next phase." ( A Bola)

Gilberto Madaíl, president of the Portuguese Football Federation: "Our national team has to know how to leave the big competitions with heads held high. We've been criticised for lack of fair play ... [the situation of João Pinto] is a very serious situation which we will deal with in light of a meeting I've already had with the president of Sporting plc, trying to minimise the effects of an attitude that was spontaneous. I can't hide the fact that the national team has a stigma that comes from other games, notably against France in EURO 2000 ... I've always taken care to warn the coaching staff, as well as the players ... I told the players before the Poland game that we couldn't be stuck, every time we get knocked out of an important competition, with the image of an undisciplined team ... I warned the players, when they met up at the beginning, about the need for them to know how to interpret the concept of fair play ... The coach has not resigned ... but it's a situation that has to be discussed ... We never demanded that we be World Champions, but we had hopes ... of getting as far as we could Mundo ... I'm not a futurologist, but a lot of what will happen will depend on the decisions of the FPF Directors. I had a mandate to contract the coaching staff, and at the time there was no contestation ... I believe the coaching staff gave the national team everything that they knew how to."

Figo: "It wasn't possible to get through to the last 16, but football doesn't stop here. Our careers carry on and we have to keep our heads up and try to do our best in the nnext competitions ... With a bit more luck, things could have been different ... but we never threw in the towel and we could have got the draw ... We're stronger from this experience, but if things continue to happen that go beyond the quality of the work of the team, this will matter little. We were strong in this game and we're going to be stronger still in two years time."

Eusébio: "Everyone who saw the game saw that Portugal were prejudiced. But football's like that ... We're a small country, and that's why we have to suffer this kind of situation. I'm sad because we didn't deserve this."

Captain and central defender Fernando Couto: "We worked hard and faced the game with courage and determination ... Let's just say that this was not our World Cup, but we're aware that this competition needed the Portuguese players."

Striker Nuno Gomes: "I'm sad because this is one of the best groups of players Portugal has ever had. Let's see if in the coming years we can fulfill our dream of being Champions of the World."

Midfielder Paulo Bento: "[When we were down] we went after the result, but we lacked that little bit of luck. This is not an excuse but a fact ... Let's think of what we did wrong, congratulate those that qualified and start thinking of EURO 2004, perhaps preparing things a little differently ... We failed our expectations and those of the Portuguese. We brought with us a hope, and we didn't get to where we wanted through our own fault."

Defender Abel Xavier: For some of us, this was a dream we've had for 11 years. I wanted to have a good World cup after what happened in EURO 2000. But even when I'm in form, there's a question mark over me. I'm going to reflect on this."

Full-back Rui Jorge: "I'm shattered ... Portugal did everything in its power to beat South Korea and get through to the next phase ... If we could have guessed waht was going to happen, maybe we could have taken a few more risks."

Midfielder Petit: "With the sending-off of João Pinto, our mission became more complicated, but we reacted well. We knew the result of the other game and we couldn't just attack willy-nilly. There wasn't any lack of ambition on our part - we even created chances to score at the end - but we weren't lucky."

(all quotes translated from A Bola)

15/06/02

João Pinto (in his World Cup Diary column in A Bola), after the incidents which saw him sent off in the game against South Korea: "It's hard for me to write today ... I'm very sad, desolate even, but I don't want to run away from my responsibilites. And I assume my mistakes ... I, as well as my teammates, expected much more from Portugal in the competition ... About the incident in the game [the tackle that got him sent off], I think it was a normal situation. In fact before that moment, there had been a very similar tackle on me that got a yellow card from the referee. So there were double standards ... The incident that in the referee's opinion was worth a sending-off was a result of my commitment, not for protesting, but for challenging for the ball ... I think I was wrongly sent off. My intention was to play the ball, not to hurt anybody. If there had been any other intention in my mind that wasn't to play the ball, the Korean player wouldn't have been able to continue ... The situation [of a possible ban] worries me ...because it won't be a ban for just one match but several ... I'm sure that I'm not going to sleep tonight ... I'm sad, very sad, that we're out of a competition that we put a lot into, but this World Cup is not just one to forget. It's also one to remember."

14/06/02

Coach António Oliveira, on the eve of the last group game against South Korea: "I'd say that these are the most important 90 minutes of the whole of our sporting lives ... We will never again have these 90 minutes, nor this opportunity ... It's unique ... This game is for champions. If we win it, we haven't won anything, but if we lose it, we lose it all." (infordesporto )

13/06/02

João Pinto ahead of the Korea game Friday: "It isn't only possible to repeat the commitment of the Poland game, it has to be that way. Above all, the team needs to be organised like in the last game and enter with the intention of winning ... Korea have evolved a lot in recent years, they're well trained and very organised ... I don't like it that my name is always mentioned as the one to be left out of the starting line up - I had a good season." (infordesporto)

Rui Jorge: "We're going to be up against a very quick and organised side. They're bound to cause us a lot of problems ... If we can keep possession of the ball and control the game, it doesn't much matter if they're very fast. above all, the important thing is for us not to be caught out on the counter attack ... We're fine mentally. This is a very important game in our careers and we're going into it with a lot of ambition." (infordesporto)

Federation president Gilberto Madaíl: "Beating Korea - if you'll excuse me - is our obligation because we have a better and more mature team and our players have a lot of international experience." (infordesporto)

Korea coach Guus Hiddink wants his side to emulate Denmark's attitude against France: "They weren't afraid of their opponents, despite them being World Champions. They respected them, but they did not fear them, showing great character against a team made up of great stars ... We want to approach the game with Portugal with the same attitude ... If we've improved in recent months it's above all down to the fact that we don't fear anyone any more ... I'm confident that our battling character will be enough to get at least a draw." (infordesporto )

12/06/02

Front-page headline of tabloid 24 Horas: "The Pope is Polish ... but God is Pauleta"

Hat-trick hero Pedro Pauleta after the 4-0 win over Poland: "I still dream of the possibility of being the top scorer, but the important thing is for us to go through ... Korea are very fast. It's going to be difficult game that can be decided by an individual touch ... The team gave its all against the USA and Poland, but against the USA we made more mistakes ... When we win, everyone wins, and when we lose, everyone loses. We all make mistakes and we're all good and just because I scored three goals doesn't mean that the victory was down to me because the important thing is always the team."

10/06/02

António Oliveira, coach, ahead of the decisive Portugal v Poland game, Monday: "We have no alternative but to win this game to then think about the other and then guarantee our passage to the next phase. With the habitual commitment of all and the will to win and achieve our objectives, we'll face this game with a very great sense of responsibility."

Figo, ditto: "Everybody is aware of the crucial moment we're at, and more than anyone we want to be in the next phase. Nobody's here to lose. We're here to win ... and everyone is fully aware of what's at stake tomorrow ... I think that the team is fit. It's normal and I don't see any physical problem compared to the other teams. If we weren't fit, we wouldn't have managed to take the game to the USA in the second half ... Personally I'm fine, and I don't think it's because of fitness that we're not going to be able to win the game."

Captain Fernando Couto, ditto: "Continue to have confidence in us!"

09/06/02

Jorge Andrade, central defender of FC Porto who came on for Jorge Costa in the second half of the USA game: "I always feel that I'm an option. I try to be, but it's up to the coach to decide who plays. We'll see ... At the end of the first game, we played as we did due to the score. The team rarely plays like that ... We're all concentrated and motivated to get a positive result against Poland ... The game against the USA had hardly ended and we wanted to play the next game to wipe out the negative image that we'd left ... Emmanuel Olisadebe is a very quick forward that could cause us problems, but we have to respect the Polish team as a whole ... To win we have to be at our best level. It helps to see how the other teams play, but if we don't play well, it's not the way the opposition play that's going to change anything." ( infordesporto)

08/06/02

Luís Figo:"It's not going to be easy for us, but we've told ourselves that we still depend only on ourselves to reach the next phase. We have to be realistic: things are complicated, but while there's still a chance ... Let no one doubt that Portugal is still well and truly alive in this World Cup ... We've analysed the mistakes we made and we've talked about how not to make them again in the two games left ... I'm not happy because we lost, but I'm happy because I didn't feel any pain. It's the first time for months that I've played 90 minutes and finished without pains in my ankle. For me it was a test, and my ankle stood up to it. I've recovered!" (infordesporto/ Marca)

Sérgio Conceição: "We thought the game was going to be easy, and the people in Portugal also imbued us with this spirit, but in truth a game in the World cup is never easy ... Independently of whether I'm picked for the next game or not, we all have to row in the same direction, and if I'm the one chosen to sit on the bench, I'll respect the decision of the coach." (infordesporto)

07/06/02

Gilberto Madaíl, Portuguese Football Federation president: "Only with blood sweat and tears will we be able to achieve our first objective ... I've spoken to the players and they said they're going to do everything possible to win the two games ... I ask the Portuguese not to abandon us, not to stop supporting us."

05/06/02

Reactions to Portugal's 2-3 defeat at the hands of the USA. ( translated from infordesporto)

Coach António Oliveira: "That's the World Cup for you! ... The USA gave us a lot of trouble ... We also had some bad luck with the chances we created and missed ... The USA were physically strong and very good on the counter attack ... Nothing is lost, but we have to win the next two games ... Both the USA and Korea had six months to prepare for this competition ... It just needed a bit of luck for the Portuguese team to come out of this game with a draw, which would have been fairer."

Figo: "We had a terrible first half and suffered because of our own mistakes, which you pay for in top competition ... The opposition were very good tactically and knew how to take advantage of our mistakes and scored at crucial moments ... When you score more you end up winning ... Now we have to win the next two games and get the calculators out."

Fernando Couto, Captain: "We were at fault in the way we were three down so early ...We tried to react but we didn't play intelligently and it all got complicated ... Now we're going to try to recover, and for that we need to win the next two games."

Beto (scorer of Portugal's first goal): "We knew that there were no easy teams in the final phas of the World cup and we never underestimated the USA. The two next games aren't going to be easy either, but we're going to approach them with optimism."

Nuno Gomes, brought on ten minutes from time to reinforce the attack: "It's the trainer's shout to decide who he thinks is best for the team ... obviously I wanted to come on earlier ... When I came on we were already out of steam. There was nothing much we could do, and everything we did came more from the heart than the head ... Perhaps they were better prepared than us."

Durão Barroso, Prime Minister: "It's at time like these that we see what the great teams are made of ... We almost recovered. If the game had been 15 minutes longer we would have."

 

 

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